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A Micro Guide to Business Analysis

How Forward-Thinking Organisations are Investing in Emerging Talent

Business analysis is a research process that helps identify business needs, document existing systems and assess business strategies. It also helps you create solutions to problems and gather the necessary information to help organisations improve. 

A business analyst works to help you gain insights into the dynamics of your business. These dynamics include the target audience, existing customers, revenue generation, needs, structure, marketing, and many others. 

This article will shed light on the essence of business analyses, how to conduct them, and the techniques to use. 

How to Conduct a Detailed Business Analysis

Here’s a 7-step process for conducting a thorough business analysis.

1. Identify the Problem, Goal or Objective

The motive for conducting a business analysis is to solve a problem or validate an idea. Hence, the first step is identifying the problem or intended objective. This step also includes identifying the current state of the business.

2. Identify the Stakeholders

Stakeholders have a significant influence on the business analysis process. They are vital decision-makers and must be identified before kickstarting the process. 

Stakeholders may include one or more of the following:

  • Business owner(s)
  • Business sponsors or partners 
  • Project manager
  • End-users of the improved service, program, or product

After identifying the stakeholders, have a meeting with them. Ask specific questions about the project, and understand what they want from the business analysis. Skipping this step may lead to a vague understanding of the project and, inevitably—failure.

3. Define Scope of the Business Analysis

The scope refers to the range of results expected from the business analysis for it to be successful. This includes:

  • Outlining the specific deliverables of the business analysis
  • Establishing a timeline for the deliverables

4. Establish Requirements for the Business Analysis

Requirements are what you need to carry out the business analysis. This is a subtle research stage because it includes analysing all relevant data and information to the project, such as:

  • Organisation chart/structure
  • Existing policies and legislation
  • Charts and flow diagrams
  • Business plans
  • Case studies

5. Kickstart Technical Application

This step is applicable if there’s a technical part to the business analysis. If so, the technical step involves software installation, workflow configuration, website development and many more. In this step, the business analyst and the technicians will work closely to ensure that the requirements for this stage are met. 

6. Discover and Understand the Problem

At this stage, you should be able to discern the problem and have a better insight into the project. You should be able to identify the following:

  • The constraints affecting the business 
  • The risks involved in the business
  • The best structure for the business
  • The current government policies affecting the business
  • The emerging competitors

And many more.

7. Present the Business Requirement/Result of the Business Analysis

This step becomes achievable once you’ve gained valuable insight into the business. Now it’s time to propose the requirements for the necessary solution.

This presentation can take the form of:

  • A prototype or simulation
  • A spreadsheet
  • A graph

Business Analysis Techniques

There are a plethora of techniques to use for a business analysis, which can be tailored to your organisation’s success.

We’ll discuss some of the main techniques.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT is a popular method used in most industries. It discovers the underlying strengths and weaknesses in a particular business. 

The information from this analysis helps business owners identify where they are performing well and where to put more effort.

The four elements of SWOT are:

  • Strengths: The qualities of the business that give it an advantage over any competition.
  • Weaknesses: Features of the business that pose a major disadvantage to it.
  • Opportunities: Elements present in the environment that the project or business can leverage.
  • Threats: Elements in the environment that could hinder the project or business.

MoSCoW Analysis

No, this doesn’t refer to the city in Russia. It stands for Must or Should, Could or Would. 

The MoSCoW framework helps you identify the urgency and importance of the business analysis. Is the analysis a must-do or a should-do? Would the result make the business better, or could it?

The 5 Whys

The 5 Whys technique helps pinpoint the particular goals you want to achieve or the problems you plan to solve with the business analysis. 

The first why answers the cause of the problem, while the second why questions the previous answer, and so on. It traces the problem down to its root. 

Consider the example below:

  • Problem: Many customers leave items in their cart when shopping online.

Why? Because they aren’t motivated enough to input their credit card details.

Why? Because the copywriting on the landing page is not persuasive enough.

Why? Because HR hasn’t hired a dedicated copywriter.

Why? Because HR was trying to manage resources.

Why? Because the company has budget constraints.


Six Thinking Hats

The six thinking hats are usually used together with brainstorming to guide thought processes. 

  • The Blue Hat is the original plan for the business analysis and the steps you’ve laid out in the project. 
  • The Red Hat is your gut feeling and the intuition you’ll use to figure out some critical parts of the business analysis. It also refers to the emotions your business analysis will evoke in the business owners and customers. 
  • The White Hat is your logical reserve. It uses existing data, information, or knowledge to conduct business analysis.
  • The Green Hat represents the possibilities, innovation, creativity, and skills you’ll use to navigate the business analysis process. 
  • The Yellow Hat is the big picture and the bright outlook—what you’re trying to achieve with the business analysis. 
  • The Black Hat represents what could go wrong. It refers to the possible difficulties and problems you’ll experience during the process. 

Other techniques include:

  • MOST Analysis (Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics).
  • Business Process Modeling (BPM).
  • Brainstorming.
  • PESTLE Analysis (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors that influence an organisation).
  • CATWOE Analysis (Customer, Actor, Transformation, Worldview, Owner, and Environment stakeholder perspectives).

Benefits of Business Analysis

Business analysis helps your organisation to:

  1. Identify business needs and discern any obstacles facing the business.
  2. Identify existing competitors and develop a competitive advantage.
  3. Monitor the growth of the company.
  4. Listen to customer feedback and implement solutions.

How MetaPM Can Help Your Organisation

MetaPM offers a professional business analysis that positions your organisation for success.

We use a professional framework that identifies your business needs and curates a tailored solution. This framework has four stages: 

  1. Discover: During this stage, we take time to understand the business needs and identify the potential constraints that may occur.
  2. Develop: We establish a future objective and develop processes for achieving this objective. 
  3. Define: At this stage, we analyse costs and benefits. We also conduct a risk assessment and evaluate implementation options.
  4. Delivery: We collate the work streams and activities into a visual workflow that drives change.

Our business analysis services also include:

  • Business Operating Model Design, Development & Facilitation
  • Business Process Documentation & Redesign
  • Requirements Management
  • Solution Analysis and Evaluation
  • Business Gap & Issue Identification & Analysis
  • As-Is and To-Be Process Mapping


Our years of experience in business analysis can help transform your business. To learn more, contact us today.


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